Surprise! You Can Afford to Shop in Aspen, Colorado

If you’re in the market for a pair of shoes that cost more than my first car, Aspen is certainly the place to go. However, I was surprised to find a number of shops selling affordable items in this high-end town.

Surprise! You Can Afford to Shop in Aspen, Colorado. Mountain Flowers.

We visited Aspen in January during Wintersköl, their annual winter festival that features snow sculpting, a canine fashion show, on slope fun and more.

While in Aspen, I discovered that if you poke around, you can find some fun little shops scattered amongst the big fancy names we’re all familiar with from New York Fashion Week.

Here are some of my favorite Aspen shopping finds. I’d love to learn about your favorite Aspen stores in the comment section.

Explore Booksellers

Do you think the old-fashion bookstore is a thing of the past? It’s alive and well in Aspen at Explore Booksellers. This the kind of place that welcomes the reader and encourages them to stay awhile.

Surprise! You Can Afford to Shop in Aspen, Colorado. Explore Booksellers.

I’m a big fan of an orderly bookstore and Explore Booksellers is beautifully laid out in various cozy rooms. In addition to books, they host events such as book signings. I got the feeling, when I visited, that it’s a true community gathering spot.

Tucked away in the attic of this Aspen bookstore is Pyramid Bistro. Open for lunch and dinner, I have it on good authority that this hidden eatery is a favorite of locals.

Emporium & Flying Circus

The Aspen Emporium & Flying Circus is my kind of place because it’s a shop full of wondrous items that you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Plus, this charming store features local artisans only, so if you like to shop local in the towns you visit, shop here.

Surprise! You Can Afford to Shop in Aspen, Colorado. Emporium & Flying Circus 2.

From handcrafted, one-of-a-kind jewelry to guitar wall art to hand pressed olive oil, the Emporium & Flying Circus is the kind of place where even husbands love to browse.

Surprise! You Can Afford to Shop in Aspen, Colorado. Emporium & Flying Circus.

Clothing Consignment Shops in Aspen

Can’t afford Gucci? Me neither, but I can afford second hand Gucci and it’s possible to find this fancy name brand and others at Susie’s Limited and Amber’s Uptown Consignment, Aspen’s two consignment shops.

Browsing these stores can be a real eye-opener for those of us who frequently shop The Gap or Marshalls. In one store, I discovered an original price tag on a pair of jeans of $1800. On consignment they were priced at a 92 percent discount — even I could splurge for that.

Surprise! You Can Afford to Shop in Aspen, Colorado. Canine Fashion Show at Winterskol.
Fashion is important in Aspen. Even the dogs have their own Fashion Show during Wintersköl.

I noticed that a lot of the clothing at these shops were for little gals — a lot of size zeros, which I haven’t been able to fit in since I was 5-years-old — however, it’s worth taking a look at these shops because there are gems hidden in those racks.

Surprise! You Can Afford to Shop in Aspen, Colorado. Canine Fashion Show at Winterskol. This is Petey.
I met Petey after the Fashion Show when we were both hanging out at Aspen Brewing Co. together.

There’s also the Thrift Shop of Aspen, and while you won’t find Gucci here, there are loads of lightly worn clothing from stores like JCrew and Eddie Bauer. And if you’ve forgotten to pack a stocking cap or lost it while skiing, this is a great place to find a replacement.

Other Shopping in Aspen

When in Aspen, I’d encourage you to browse a couple of the art galleries. Ryan and I loved the Omnibus Gallery which features original, vintage posters from movies and more. The owners are getting ready to retire and may close the store as early as this spring, so get there fast to enjoy “retirement discounts.”

Surprise! You Can Afford to Shop in Aspen, Colorado. Omnibus Gallery.

There are many fabulous artists represented in Aspen. You’ll find art here that costs more than the typical house and other pieces that I’d have no problem purchasing for my home.

I also enjoyed popping into the occasional small clothing store where I discovered that not all the price tags were out of reach. In fact, several stores had beautiful jewelry at reasonable prices.

In addition to gifts, clothing and art, there are several basic needs type of stores in downtown like a pet store selling bags of pet food and leashes (Aspen is a super pet friendly place) and a nice wine shop.

For more shopping information on Aspen, visit Aspen Real Life’s shopping page. This blog has great insider info on all of Aspen, including shopping, art and culture, wellness and more.

Thank you to the Aspen Chamber for hosting us on this trip.


  1. You definitely made me want to visit Aspen even though I don’t care about “name brands”!


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